Chile’s casino sector up in arms over details in ‘postponed’ operating permits

The postponement of operating permits would mean new operating instructions, including a five per cent tax increase for this year

The Chilean Undersecretary of Finance, Francisco Moreno wants to postpone the new bidding process for operating permits for the 14 casinos, awarded in 2006 for a year. But the industry is not happy about it since this would mean new operating instructions, including a five per cent tax increase for this year. 

Francisco Moreno wants to postpone the new bidding process for operating permits by a year, this would mean new operating instructions, including a five per cent tax increase for this year. 

Moreno said: “With this initiative we seek to protect the income of the municipalities and the regions in which the casinos are located. We are taking on the aspiration of all mayors, in order to guarantee truly competitive and beneficial processes with attractive economic offers for local governments. We do not want the processes for the renewal of operating permits to be carried out in adverse conditions that will end up affecting municipal revenues for the next 15 years.” 

The Chilean Association of Gambling Casinos (ACCJ) is shocked about the proposal. 

Ricardo Abdala, Director of Boldt Peralada, who operates the Ovalle casino, said; “We feel that today the State of Chile is not respecting the rules of the game. The measures in the bill are fatal and do not help us. We are not asking the government for compensation, we are not asking for anything at all. The only thing we are saying is that, as the State of Chile, respect the rules of the game with which we were invited to participate in the industry. We want to believe that Undersecretary Moreno has not been well advised on this important issue, since the project, instead of helping us, does terrible damage to the industry.” 

Jaime Wilhelm, General Manager of Sun Dreams , added: “What the government announced on Tuesday has nothing to do with the basic problem of the industry, we are not discussing one more year or five per cent more taxes, or that they give us or no benefits from the pandemic, in-depth discussion is the industry norm. There is only one way in which the this can move forward and that is with the same law that we were invited to make the investment.” 

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